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CLEVELAND, OH - April 2, 2012 - Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving was named today as the NBA’s Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in the month of March.
Irving appeared in 15 games in March and averaged 19.9 points on .458 shooting, 5.0 rebounds and 6.7 assists in 32.3 minutes per game. During the month, Irving ranked first in scoring, three-point percentage (.413), free throw percentage (.881) and assists, and finished second in field goal percentage and steals (1.5) among Eastern Conference rookies. Irving scored 20 or more points in eight games (the most 20-point games by a rookie in the month), and shot at least .500 from the field six times. Irving also averaged 7.4 points per fourth quarter in the month, which was the most among all Eastern Conference rookies. On the season, Irving is averaging 18.9 points, which leads all rookies, on .471 shooting, 4.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 31.5 minutes per game.
Against the Nuggets on Mar. 7, Irving scored or assisted on the Cavs final 12 points in the last 2:36 of the game, including making the game-winning layup with 4.0 seconds remaining, in a 100-99 win at Denver. He finished the game with 18 points, a game-high eight assists, five rebounds and three steals in 33 minutes. Irving set a career high in assists with 12, to go along with nine points, six rebounds and three steals against the Thunder on Mar. 9. In that contest, Irving scored the go-ahead basket in the fourth quarter to help the Cavs to a 96-90 road victory, snapping Oklahoma City’s 14-game home winning streak.
Irving recorded his first career double-double against Atlanta on Mar. 18 with 19 points and 10 assists in 37 minutes. He also finished with 29 points, a career-high nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals at Atlanta on Mar. 21, becoming the first rookie this season to reach totals of at least 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. On Mar. 30 against the Bucks, the 6-3 point guard scored a game-high 29 points and added five assists in 32 minutes, while also shooting a perfect 6-6 on three-pointers, becoming the first rookie in the NBA to make at least six three-pointers without a miss since Stephen Curry of Golden State on Jan. 5, 2010.
Other nominees for Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month were Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, Detroit’s Brandon Knight and New Jersey’s MarShon Brooks.